The GCC is kicking up a fuss over the Stalinist command and control based land planning in the ACT which is going to plonk a Bunnings down next to the Magnet Mart.
The Gungahlin Community Council meeting on Wednesday 13 March will hear a presentation on pre Development Application consultation relating to the proposed development of a Bunnings Warehouse on the hitherto ‘abandoned’ site opposite the Gungahlin College.
The location is Block 1 Section 4 bounded by Anthony Rolfe Avenue, Gribble Street, Hibberson Street & Franz Bormann Close – immediately adjoining the Magnet Mart carpark.
This site was excavated many years ago in anticipation of a bulky goods development taking place. Inaction has resulted in the site being an eyesore for a considerable period of time. GCC has commented that progress on commencing much needed development is extremely slow in the Town Centre.
Over the past several years significant consultation has taken place about the need for improved public transport facilities in Gungahlin. Gribble Street has been ‘earmarked’ for a major transit hub – the likely terminus of the Light Rail service, the interchange for new rapid bus services between Belconnen & Gungahlin & the provision of bike storage facilities to encourage greater patronage of Bike’n’Ride services. The proposed location of enlarged Park’n’Ride facilities within 1 block was predicated on the basis of the transit hub being developed & expanded.
GCC is still ‘peeved’ that a reason for not locating the new Northside sub-acute hospital in Gungahlin was that the land in & around the Town Centre was too valuable for low level developments.
Yet the planners continue to limit developments to a maximum of 4 storeys/levels & continue to ‘approve’ low level developments. GCC wants to see a mix of densification (in the Town Centre) & low-level residential development (suburbs) to add to the appeal of Gungahlin as a liveable area.
If all available land is sold off for low level development it is unlikely that sufficient critical mass will eventuate in the Town Centre to attract all the services & amenities needed by a population base rapidly heading towards 50,000 with the potential to reach 100,000.
GCC wants to see a review of any Gungahlin Master Plan or precinct plan to ensure that the current situation does not get any worse. There is a growing chorus of complaints from residents about poor or apparent lack of planning, not only in the Town Centre but in many Gungahlin suburbs.
Longer term planning suggests that the proposed bulky goods site would be more effectively used as a modern transit hub complete with more commercial & entertainment facilities. Adequate vacant land suitable for another large hardware store exists close to Mitchell.